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Mandatory Waiting Periods and Biased Abortion Counseling in Central and Eastern Europe


Article by Leah Hoctor and Adriana Lamačková of the Centre for Reproductive Rights has been published in the Ethical and Legal Issues section of the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. The article addresses the recent retrogressive introduction of mandatory waiting periods and biased counseling and information requirements prior to abortion in Central and Eastern Europe.

A number of Central and Eastern European countries have recently enacted retrogressive laws and policies introducing new pre-conditions that women must fulfill before they can obtain legal abortion services. Mandatory waiting periods and biased counseling and information requirements are particularly common examples of these new prerequisites. This article considers these requirements in light of international human rights standards and public health guidelines, and outlines the manner in which, by imposing regressive barriers on women’s access to legal abortion services, these new laws and policies undermine women’s health and well-being, fail to respect women’s human rights, and reinforce harmful gender stereotypes and abortion stigma.

The published article is online in PDF at Wiley Library.
Full text, as submitted is online at SSRN.

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